Category Archive for Microsoft

C++14 STL Features, Fixes, And Breaking Changes In Visual Studio 14 CTP1

Stephan T. Lavavej, aka STL, has written a very detailed blog post describing new C++14 STL features, implemented fixes, and breaking changes in Visual Studio 14 CTP1. Read it here.

One notable breaking change is that containers cannot have const elements:

The Standard has always forbidden containers of const elements (e.g. vector, set). (C++98/03′s prohibition was crystal clear: elements must be Assignable, which const T isn’t. C++11/14′s prohibition is obscurely hidden, but it’s there.) Previously, VC accepted such containers due to non-Standard machinery in std::allocator. We’ve removed that machinery, so such containers now fail to compile.

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Visual Studio “14” CTP

Microsoft has released Visual Studio “14″ CTP. You can read the announcement on Soma’s blog. Visual Studio “14″ will most likely be available sometime in 2015.

Note: This is a CTP release, thus it should be installed in a test environment, such as a VM or a clean machine. Do not install on a machine with another version of Visual Studio installed.

Specifically for C++, there are quite a few improvements, such as:

  • Generalized lambda capture
  • User-defined literals in the language and standard library
  • Completed noexcept
  • Inline namespaces
  • Thread-safe “magic” statics
  • Unrestricted unions
  • All November 2013 compiler CTP features
  • Null forward iterators
  • quoted()
  • Heterogeneous associative lookup
  • integer_sequence
  • exchange()
  • get()
  • Dual-range equal(), is_permutation(), mismatch()
  • tuple_element_t
  • Filesystem “V3″ Technical Specification (TS)
  • Object file size reductions
  • Debug checking fixes
  • Create declaration or definition
  • Native memory diagnostics
  • Refactored C Runtime (CRT): This CTP contains the first preview of the substantially refactored CRT. msvcr140.dll no longer exists. It is replaced by a trio of DLLs: vcruntime140.dll, appcrt140.dll, and desktopcrt140.dll.

Read Eric’s blog for a bit more details on those improvements.

Download the CTP.

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Microsoft MVP VC++ 2014 Award

Today I got a mail from Microsoft saying that my MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award for Visual C++ is extended for 2014 :)

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2014 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Visual C++ technical communities during the past year.

See my MVP profile.

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My BeCPP Presentation “What’s new in Visual C++ 2013″

On Monday March 17th, 2014 I gave a “What’s new in Visual C++ 2013″ presentation for the Belgian C++ Users Group (BeC++).
This time there were around 55 attendees for the BeC++ meeting, quite a success :)
The slides of my presentation can be downloaded below:

Peter Van Weert gave a presentation “What’s new in C++14″.
His slides can be downloaded from the official BeC++ blog.

There are also a couple of pictures from the event on the BeC++ blog.

And I already started planning the next Belgian C++ Users Group meeting. It will be on May 8th, 2014. Details will follow soon.

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C++ AMP Presentation for KLA Tencor / ICOS

Today I gave an introduction presentation on C++ AMP for software engineers and team leads of KLA Tencor / ICOS. The presentation was almost the same as I gave on Meeting C++ in November 2013.
The slides can be downloaded below:

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Visual Studio 2013 Update 1

Visual Studio 2013 Update 1 has been released.

The following are Visual C++ related bug fixes:

  • Assume that you edit a dialog that contains at least one picture control in Resource Editor. After you save the file, the project can no longer be compiled.
  • When you edit multiple resources in Resource Editor, Visual Studio crashes randomly.
  • Addresses some Visual C++ automatic formatting issues.
  • Visual C++ IDE does not work as expected if there is an unexpected registry subkey under the following registry key:
    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\VisualSTudio\12.0\FileExtensionMapping
  • When you try to link with PGO on amd64_x86 complier, Visual Studio crashes.

Update 1 is a rather small update. A list of all the fixes can be found here.

Download the update from here.

S. Somasegar said that they are well underway on Visual Studio 2013 Update 2, their first major feature update for VS2013, which they are looking forward to delivering this spring.

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MVP Global Summit 2013 November Report

I gave a report of the November MVP Global Summit 2013 to software engineers in my company. Obviously, I’m only talking about things that did not fall under NDA.
The slides can be downloaded below:

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Announcing the Visual C++ Compiler November 2013 CTP

Visual Studio 2013 has only been released very recently, and the Visual C++ team already has a new CTP out with new features :)
The following table gives an overview and even includes features that are planned for future releases.

  • Implicit move special member function generation (thus also completing =default)
  • Reference qualifiers on member functions (a.k.a. “& and && for *this”)
  • Thread-safe function local static initialization (a.k.a. “magic statics”)
  • Inheriting constructors
  • alignof/alignas
  • __func__
  • Extended sizeof
  • constexpr (except for constructors)
  • noexcept (unconditional)
  • C++14 decltype(auto)
  • C++14 auto function return type deduction
  • C++14 generic lambdas (with explicit lambda capture list)
  • (Proposed for C++17) Resumable functions and await

Remember, this is a CTP so it does not come with a Go Live license.
More details can be found on the VCBlog.

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Meeting C++ 2013 – “Introduction to Microsoft C++ AMP”

The 2013 edition of Meeting C++ was once again a great conference.
This year I gave an introduction to Microsoft C++ AMP on the conference.
The session was a great success. I estimate there were around 100 people in the room, and lots of interesting questions :)
After the session I read on Twitter

Awesome presentation on C++ AMP in track B. #meetingcpp

C++ AMP makes it possible to write C++ for GPUs in a STLesque fashion. #meetingcpp

Below you can download the slides of my presentation.

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MVP Global Summit November 2013

Looking forward to the Microsoft MVP Global Summit November 2013 :)
MVP Global Summit November 2013

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Visual Studio 2013 Available for Download

The final versions of Visual Studio 2013, Team Foundation Server 2013 and .NET 4.51 are now available from MSDN. You can also download trials.

VS 2013 can be installed side by side with previous versions of Visual Studio or, if you have a VS 2013 pre-release, it can be installed straight on top of the pre-release. TFS 2013 cannot be installed side by side but can also be installed on top of either a previous version (TFS 2012 or TFS 2010) or a pre-release.

Learn more about what’s new in Visual Studio 2013.

What’s new in Visual C++ 2013 (excerpt from MSDN):

  • Compiler
    • Added support for the following ISO C++11 language features:
      • Default template arguments for function templates.
      • Delegating constructors.
      • Explicit conversion operators.
      • Initializer lists and uniform initialization.
      • Raw string literals.
      • Variadic templates.
      • Alias templates.
      • Deleted functions.
      • Non-static data member initializers (NSDMIs).
      • Defaulted functions.  (using =default to request memberwise move constructors and move assignment operators is not supported)
    • Added support for the following ISO C99 language features:
      • _Bool
      • Compound literals.
      • Designated initializers.
      • Mixing declarations with code.
    • String literal conversion to modifiable values can be disallowed by using the new compiler option /Zc:strictStrings. In C++98, conversion from string literals to char * (and wide string literals to wchar_t *) was deprecated. In C++11, the conversion was removed entirely. Although the compiler could strictly conform to the standard, instead it provides the /Zc:strictStrings option so that you can control conversion. By default, the option is off. Note that when you are using this option in debug mode, the STL will not compile.
    • rvalue/lvalue Reference Casts. With rvalue references, C++11 can clearly distinguish between lvalues and rvalues. Previously, the Visual C++ compiler did not provide this in specific casting scenarios. A new compiler option, /Zc:rvalueCast, has been added to make the compiler conformant with the C++ Language Working Paper(see section 5.4, [expr.cast]/1). The default behavior when this option is not specified is the same as in Visual Studio 2012.
  • STL
    • Support for the C++11 explicit conversion operators, initializer lists, scoped enums, and variadic templates.
    • All containers now support the C++11 fine-grained element requirements.
    • Support for these C++14 features:
      • “Transparent operator functors” less<>, greater<>, plus<>, multiplies<>, and so on.
      • make_unique<T>(args…) and make_unique<T[]>(n)
      • cbegin()/cend(), rbegin()/rend(), and crbegin()/crend() non-member functions.
    • <atomic> received numerous performance enhancements.
    • <type_traits> received major stabilization and code fixes.

This list is just a small part of everything that’s new. There are also

  • Visual C++ library enhancements
  • C++ application performance enhancements
  • Diagnostics enhancements
  • 3D graphics enhancements
  • Quite a few very nice IDE and Productivity enhancements.

Read all the details here.

Visual C++ 2013 now also supports “just my code” debugging which makes working with C++ even better. The ability to filter the call stack down to just the code you wrote when debugging has long existed for managed languages and is now available for C++ :)

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Visual Studio 2013 UI Changes

The Visual Studio 2013 Preview has a number of UI improvements compared to 2012.
There is again a bit more color in the IDE, and borders between controls and windows are more visible.
Below is an example of the Solution Explorer

Read this blog post on the Visual Studio team blog for more details.

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Join the Belgian Windows 8 apps race

And win prices :)

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Microsoft MVP VC++ 2013 Award

I got the confirmation email from Microsoft that my MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award for Visual C++ is extended for 2013 :)
I’m already looking forward to the next Summit :)

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2013 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Visual C++ technical communities during the past year.

See my MVP profile.

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Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 Now Available

Microsoft has released Update 2 for Visual Studio 2012 (VS2012.2). You can get it here.

Just as with VS2012.1 (which is installed as part of VS2012.2 for those of you who don’t already have VS2012.1 installed), this release contains important fixes as well as a wealth of new functionality, addressing feedback we’ve received from the community and aligning with key software development trends in the market. The new functionality primarily spans (though is not limited to) five areas of investment: agile planning, quality enablement, Windows Store development, line-of-business development, and the general developer experience.

Check out Somasegar’s blog post for more details on this update.

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MVP Global Summit 2013 February Report

On March 25th, I gave a report of the February MVP Global Summit 2013 to software engineers in my company. Obviously, I’m only talking about things that did not fall under NDA.
The slides can be downloaded below:

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Superhackathon in Belgium

banner_superhackathon_180x150Microsoft is organizing a Superhackathon in Belgium on 27th of March. Starting at 9AM for the Day part, and continuing until midnight for the Night part. This is a hackathon organized simultaneously in Brussels, Genk, Mons, and Kortijk.

Code, build, eat, drink & win.

Experts will be on site to help you with the last phase of building your first Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 application. The event will be streaming live everywhere to the world.

There will be experts (many!), breakfast, pizza, coffee (lots!) and Red Bull. You can win prizes and rewards such as tickets to TechEd, Asus Vivo Tab, Lumia Phone and more.

Read more and register.

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TechDays 2013


TechDays 2013 is planned for 5-7 March 2013 in the Kinepolis in Antwerp.
The agenda planning is still in full swing but the first speakers and sessions have already been announced.

There will be two pre-conferences on March 5th:

  • Modern application lifecycle management with Visual Studio 2012 (Brian Keller and other speakers to be announced)
  • SharePoint 2013 Platform and App development (Dan Holme, Lieven Iliano and TBA)

Content on March 6th and 7th: focus is on developing Windows 8, Windows Azure and Windows Phone apps, of course supported by sessions on EF, tools, ASP.NET, identity and more.

There will also be a corner with MEET members and MVPs who can help you with any questions or problems you might have.

You get an early bird discount of 15% if you order tickets before January 1st 2013.

More information on the official TechDays site.

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Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 Now Available


The first update for Visual Studio 2012 has been released.
This update delivers bug fixes, but also new functionality. The new functionality in this first update primarily spans four areas: Windows development, SharePoint development, agile teams, and continuous quality.

We can now target Windows XP again with C++ code, and there have been a couple of C++ unit testing enhancements. For Windows Store applications, the update includes support for both mixed-mode managed/native debugging and for native ARM dump debugging.

Get more details about the update.
Download the update.

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Team Foundation Service

Microsoft has removed the Beta label from their online Team Foundation Service.
You can get a free plan which you can use for up to 5 users and which can host an unlimited number of projects. Team Foundation Service provides version control, work item tracking, agile planning tools, feedback management, and more.

TFS is thoroughly integrated into Visual Studio.
I’ve personally used the service for over a month (started with the beta) and love it so far :)

Learn more about it here.

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